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GUEST PIECE: College decision wait anxiously brief

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GUEST PIECE: College decision wait anxiously brief

ANNA PRATT

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A dream I have dreamed a thousand times is coming to an end.

Picture this: I’m 10 years old. My eldest brother returns from his first semester at university touting two gift bags, a smile, and an excited voice, saying, “Look what I got for you two!” My twin sister and I eagerly open the gifts, grins flashing that slowly turn into a quizzical expression. “It’s a t-shirt.”

“It’s from his university,” my dad explains. I get it now. The blue cotton, the curling script, I remember— like a family tradition, BYU always comes back to us.

Ever since I was entering middle high school, I have known where I wanted to go to college. It was never even a question. A few other universities crossed my mind, sure, but in the end I had already picked where I wanted to study. My freshman year a junior classmate said, “I want to die because I have to apply to colleges next year.” Back then, the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. It had always seemed so far away.

And then junior year came and the ACTs came and suddenly I was sitting in a locked-down room where the proctor says “Only four more minutes to go!” and my whole future is boiling down to whether or not the answer is either A, standard deviation or C, mean. And then junior year continued and everyone is making decisions about college— out of state? Do I go to community college first? Should I go with my boyfriend instead of where I want to go? Will any of them accept me? Throughout all the chaos and the stress ACTs, the only beacon for me was my familiar, perfectly fit university— I just had to get in there.

And then applications opened— eight hours late, I might add, adding a lot of stress to both my, my mother, and I’m sure thousands of teenagers across the nation— and I whooshed into it. Those essays were the most complicated ones I have ever written. How do I say “Please accept me because I will definitely cry if you don’t and I think I’m a good fit” without explicitly saying it? (Even after I wrote those seven essays, I still have no idea. I have no advice; I’m sorry.)

As my last semester begins and the calendar is getting new x’s every day, I am having the last dreams of university. My days of wondering if I will ever get into the school I desperately want are numbered. Fifteen days. Fifteen days exactly until my dreams either manifest or shatter.

Of course, where you go to college isn’t everything. But after countless hours on campus, after worn in pieces of college paraphernalia, after four years of doing stuff I struggled through only because I knew it would lead to a higher GPA, a well rounded resume and would add edge to something that just might let me into my dream university, fifteen days is a blip on the timeline.

After all the waiting and stressing of high school, I would almost do it all over again just to buy some time before reality hits me. The feelings of waiting to get into college is something that I can only attribute to a lyric from a One Direction song—”Feels like we’ve been living in fast forward,” because even though I saw it all, I just can’t believe it’s here. High school is over, university is beginning, and Friday is the day of judgment.

Anyway, come talk to me on Saturday. I’m sure I’ll have a lot to tell you.

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